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“Militia-like mentality renders any individual helpless, fearful, and forsaken in the eyes of the law”

Below is a letter to The Online Citizen. The writer has requested to be anonymous.

By an anonymous parent

The recent suicide of a 14-year-old child after his interrogation in the hands of the police highlights a disconcerting sense of loss which I believe many others feel as they, like myself, try to make sense of the events that led to his premature death.

It is equally disconcerting that not a single voice from the ruling party, nor members from the opposition camp, has come forth to issue their thoughts on this matter, except for a number of apathetic reports in the papers that aims more to intellectualize the event as it pertains to the two main institutions of the country  involved, rather than pin point certain fundamental flaws in lawful procedures. Has it ever crossed anyone's minds that this might happen to our own children?

God forbid. Most would simply brush this harrowing thought aside and wish that their charges would be more sensible than to end their own lives. So it was the case when the mother of the victim, the victim, and his sister were taking the train home, with nary a faint suspicion that this would be their last sojourn together as a family.

A young life is taken at such short notice. Although not one to subscribe to the supernatural things that I do not immediately understand, the admission of unclosed eyes of the deceased is symptomatic of justice that needs to be redressed as much as it is unthinkable grief. A former leader of the country once quipped that the citizenry is "animal-like" and that Confucian ideals serve the purpose of negating such "animinalistic" tendencies. I would like to ask, Who or what is the animal here! A boy has died. Such a perversion of Confucian ideals is plain for all to see!

Under a police state, law enforcers are indoctrinated with certain facist ideologies that have persisted to this day, and imbued with an irreproachable power to disarm, disorient, and disavow the rights of, the human being.

The subjugation of the individual takes precedence over any notions of basic human rights, as though some form of sacrosanct moral law has been transgressed. This militia-like mentality renders any individual helpless, fearful, and forsaken in the eyes of the law.

Therefore, law enforcers in such states are often perceived as being apart from, rather than a part of, the common man. It is nothing short of a travesty that the promulgation of such beliefs have been so debased as to transpire in light of events surrounding children around the world, where the line between a child and adult is blurred, for when the child is no longer deemed as an individual, but a mere object that has run afoul of a perceived moral law, he or she is devoid of any feelings, rationality, and right to disputation.

For some, trauma is the only result under such circumstances, and if the logical state of mind is so shaken to the core, ending one's life, unfortunately, becomes the sole recourse for others.

As a mother buries her child, something does not feel right, something's got to give.